Report on Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Press Conference in Tokyo

Report on Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Press Conference in Tokyo 8

On Sept. 6, at a certain place in Tokyo, Hayao Miyazaki (72) appeared at a press conference to confirm his retirement.

The Wind Rises, the director’s first anime film in five years, has sold roughly 7.47 million tickets and grossed ¥9.23 billion (as of Sept. 5). The film has also entered the competition of the 70th Venice International Film Festival in North Italy. During the official press conference at the festival, Koji Hoshino (57), president of Studio Ghibli, announced the director’s retirement.

Director Miyazaki was born in January 1941, and ever since his debut as a director with The Castle of Cagliostro (1979), he has created many memorable works such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
*Kiki’s Delivery Service* (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), and Princess Mononoke (1997). Some of his works have won prizes at international film festivals, and even now, there are still many people who loves his works, regardless of age and nationality. Even after reaching 50, he still continued to be energetic and active, which manifested in drawing an enormous amount of original pictures and storyboards of 24 stills per second.

Representatives from roughly 200 media sources from in and outside Japan, 605 reporters in total, were present at the press conference, and as soon as Miyazaki arrived with Hoshino and board member and producer Suzuki, they were greeted with an unending wave of flashes.

“It took five years to complete The Wind Rises. My next work might take six or seven years, and I would use all the time I have in my 70’s. There are more things I want to do besides anime films,” Miyazaki stated regarding the reason for his retirement. He also added, “There are various things I’d like to do, but not really create something myself. I don’t want to become a person of culture. I want to stick to the lifestyle of an old man leading a small workshop.”

On what will become of Ghibli moving forward, director Miyazaki answered, “On this occasion, I’d like to ask the young staff to work hard. I want them to keep coming up with ideas. Otherwise, it’s over. In our 30s and 40s, we made a lot of plans, thinking that if we could do it, we should make it happen. The future of Ghibli depends on the efforts of the younger generation.”

The reporters kept firing questions at him, as if they were reluctant to let him leave. Though many had heavy hearts upon hearing the news, the atmosphere of the conference warm, with some laughing here and there.

Below is Miyazaki’s official resignation letter.

Official Resignation
Hayao Miyazaki

I think I want to work for another ten years. As long as I can come and go between my home and my workplace without help, I want to continue working. For the time being, I estimate that to be about ten years.

It might be less, but that is something my lifespan will decide, so I will just go with my estimate.
I wanted to make theatrical anime, and so I did, but I had no way to stop the rapidly growing distance between my works; it just became a norm.

There is five year span between The Wind Rises and my previous work. The next one might take six or seven years... That won’t hold up the Studio, and by that time, my 70s, or rather the time I have left of my 70s, will be used up.

Even besides anime films, there are other things I’d like to try out. There are also a lot of tasks that I feel I must do, for example, an exhibition at the Ghibli Museum.

These things, regardless of whether I do them or not, do not pose any inconvenience toward Ghibli. They might, however, still inconvenience my family the same as before. So, I hereby take myself off Ghibli’s program.

I am free. However, my daily life won’t change a bit, I will walk the same path every day. Taking Saturday off has been my dream. I am not sure if I will make it a habit, but I will never know unless I try.

Thank you very much.


The Wind Rises Official Site

Studio Ghibli Official Site

© Studio Ghibli Inc.

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind © 1984 Nibariki, GH
*Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind* © 1984 Nibariki, GH
Princess Mononoke © 1997 Nibariki, GH
*Princess Mononoke* © 1997 Nibariki, GH
The Wind Rises © 2013 Nibariki,   GNDHDDTK
*The Wind Rises* © 2013 Nibariki, GNDHDDTK
Report on Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Press Conference in Tokyo 8
Report on Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Press Conference in Tokyo 9
Report on Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Press Conference in Tokyo 10

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